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'All over the world, value-adding businesses grow without having to frequently ... M G Lang (1995) American Journal of Agricultural Economics ' ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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  • Agrivision Group
15 March 2007
  • This presentation followed an address by Graham
    Stuart, Fonterras Director, Strategy and Growth
  • Rather than present these slides, I engaged in a
    discussion with the Agrivision meeting. I
    referred to particular slides where relevant to
    the discussion

Fonterras view
There are a few zealots like Tony Baldwin, who
seem philosophically bent on sounding the death
knell of co-operatives.... Graham Stuart
Taranaki Daily News, October 2004 It is a
shame that supposed leaders like Graham resort to
uninformed name-calling and old industry
prejudices instead of openly addressing the
real issues
My approach
  • I have no ideological views about cooperatives
  • Cooperative forms are not anomalies, but
    competitive institutions that form an integral
    part of a healthy market economy
  • Bengt Holmstrom, Prof of Economics at
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Structure follows strategy. Some strategies can
    be best achieved by cooperatives

Key question
  • The key question is does Fs current structure
    fit its claimed strategy?
  • The answer is almost certainly no.

What are you?
  • We are a dairy farmers' co-operative.
  • And we are a multinational marketing company.
  • And we are also an international capital
  • Graham Stuart, 2002
  • Is this how you see Fonterra?

What are your goals for Fonterra?
  • Maximise payout?
  • Keep exclusive farmer control?
  • Stay a co-op?

Why a co-op?
  • But why a co-op? Why 100 control?
  • To guarantee milk pick up and processing, and
  • To guard against non-supplier shareholders
    squeezing milk price to get more profits
  • But Fonterra wants more capital than you can
    provide and a more stable balance sheet
  • Serious proposal for outsider shareholders
  • Need to find other ways of addressing the two
    concerns above

Key problem
With no farm gate competition, outside investors
could try to squeeze the raw milk price to get
more profits
  • Options to address this problem include
  • Long term milk supply contracts with guarantees
    of milk collection, and
  • Independent rules to set a milk price that
    outside shareholders cant squeeze, or
  • Help create more farm-gate competition so you
    get a real raw milk price

Co-op philosophy
  • At the heart of the Cooperative Philosophy is
    the distribution of wealth between shareholders
  • From Fonterra/shareholders constitutional

But what matters more growing wealth or keeping
Merger Vision
  • Over 10 years
  • Grow capital from 10b to 30b
  • Grow revenues at 15 pa
  • Deliver 15 pa return on gross assets

Source Industry Leaders Presentation
Gains since 2001
  • Integrated management and systems
  • Some cost reductions
  • Closer linkage between production and customers
  • Better inventory management (decrease from 34 to
    24 as of annual sales volume)
  • Improved supplier services
  • Some gains in monitoring (fair value share and
    CMP processes)

Key capital problems
  • Redemption risk
  • Compulsory investment risk
  • Insufficient shareholder funds
  • Inefficient governance structure

Redemption risk
  • Suppliers withdrawing at the same time
  • Also involves loss of milk volumes required to
    cover fixed asset costs
  • Also risk of regional cherry picking

It is possible, even probable, that Fonterra
will be faced with a declining share of the NZ
milk supply, say 75-80 compared to 96 at
present Dr Alan Frampton, 2002
Compulsory investment
  • NZ suppliers are forced to invest in non-NZ milk
    or non-processing activities
  • But you are likely to get better risk adjusted
    returns over time from investing in a diversified
    portfolio of investments

Compulsory investment (contd)
  • Fonterra obtains shareholder funds without having
    to compete in the capital market, so it has less
    incentive to use funds to return maximum yields
    over time
  • Fonterra should pay a higher return to compensate
    for the higher risk, the compulsory nature of the
    investment and the lack of diversification in
    their portfolio

Insufficient equity
  • All over the world, value-adding businesses grow
    without having to frequently resort to capital
    markets for new equity.....
  • Fonterra shareholders have already demonstrated
    the ability to commit the equity required to fund
    our impressive growth and there is no reason to
    suggest that cannot continue for the foreseeable
  • Graham Stuart Taranaki Daily News, October

Insufficient equity (contd)
But not consistent with CEOs comments
  • While Fonterra can fund the immediate needs of
    the cornerstone activities and current options
    within our existing balance sheet, as the
    business evolves this may not always be the
    case. .Any inability to access sufficient
    equity could undermine our ability to realise the
    full potential of our value-added operations
  • Andrew Ferrier, CEO, Fonterra 10 June 04
    also repeated same concern in 2006

Insufficient equity (contd)
  • Its only options at present are
  • Retentions
  • Shares purchased to supply more milk, and
  • Inviting existing shareholders to subscribe more
  • On a capped base of 13,000 suppliers, this not
    likely to generate sufficient capital to fund
    Fonterras stated objectives

1999 Plan
Source McKinsey
2001 Plan
  • Promar International commented in 2001
  • In the initial 1999 merger proposal, it was
    suggested that significant external investment
    would be needed for the organisation to meet its
    market objectives.
  • Our understanding of the 2001 merger proposal
    to form Fonterra is that the capital
    requirements are similarto undertake the
    development necessary, Fonterra could decide to
    bring in outside equity partners to complete the
    investment from supplier shareholders.

  • A separate company for the non-commodity
    business, controlled by Fonterra but with outside
  • Non-supplier shareholders in the cooperative
  • A public company controlled by the cooperative
  • A public company with share in the cooperative,
  • A multi-national cooperative

Separate subsidiary
Co-op with two classes of share
  • A class shares
  • Supply rights
  • 100 votes on key issues

Constitutional safeguard Only go below 51 with
75 supplier vote at 2 general meetings
Co-operative Milk processor seller of
New share capital Suppliers outside investors
by choice, not linked to supply
  • B class shares
  • Tradable
  • Restricted voting rights

An A and B share structure is used by Air NZ,
Livestock Improvement Corporation and Friesland
Coberco (Netherlands)
Public company controlled by co-op
100 votes Supply rights
Co-operative Milk processor
Minimum 51 votes
Constitutional safeguard Only go below 51 with
75 supplier vote at 2 general meetings
New share capital Suppliers outside investors
by choice, not linked to supply
Public Company Operates all businesses
  • Fully tradable

This structure was used by Kerry PLC and Glanbia
PLC (Ireland)
Public company with shares in co-op
  • A class shares
  • 100 votes
  • Supply rights

Constitutional safeguard Only change with 75
supplier vote at 2 general meetings
Co-operative Milk processor
  • B class shares
  • Only 1 vote

New share capital Suppliers outside investors
by choice, not linked to supply
Public Company Operates all businesses
  • Fully tradable

This structure was used by Golden Vale PLC
Multi-national co-operative
This structure is used by Arla (Denmark) and MD
Cooperative problems
  • Widely recognised, even among cooperative
  • Limited access to share capital
  • Weak performance monitoring
  • Less efficient decision-making processes
  • Diverging expectations among suppliers
  • Multiple objectives lack of strategic clarity
  • Lack of capital diversification by shareholders

Cross-roads in other countries too
Co-operatives are at a cross-roads. The future
of co-operatives depends on the ability of their
leaders to convince members to structure
themselves in order to compete on
multi-commodity, value-added and global bases.
M G Lang (1995) American Journal of
Agricultural Economics
In Europe the co-operative organisation form
is in retreat due to problems of control and
transferring market signals Torgenson,
Reynolds Gray (1999) Journal of Cooperatives
  • The role of ownership is to gain the ability to
    influence decision-making via a direct governance
  • It is not total ownership that counts, but
    control at the margin
  • Ownership control is less of an issue if there is
    a market for entering and exiting
  • Best for many interested parties (capital
    markets) to measure the pros and cons of a
    companys investment plans
  • Total closed control (with no trading of shares)
    denies shareholders this key benefit

Farmers challenge
  • Too many people in the industry automatically
    revert to the 100 year old clichés that involving
    outside investors will only lead to farmers
    becoming marginalised and turn their children
    into peasants
  • Dairy Exporter, July 1997, p 66 see also
    Nuffield Scholarship reports by Marise James and
    Catherine Bull
  • The real challenge for farmers now is to evaluate
    these issues with an open mind to put the old
    clichés to one side.
  • The idea that markets are in conflict with
    cooperation is a serious misconception

Value of Kerry shares
1974 100 of Kerry Co-op 1.25 million
1986 51 of Kerry plc 40 million
2004 31 of Kerry plc 1,007 million
Value of members investment increased
significantly even though the co-ops control of
Kerry decreased
Exclusive control vs. value
  • Result
  • you own 100 of 100 100
  • vs
  • 50 of 1,000 500
  • NZ farmers say no to any proposals unless
  • Suppliers keep total control
  • No outsider investors take a share, and
  • Benefits are shared equally among all suppliers

Copy Kerry?
Denis Brosnan, Kerrys highly successful CEO
(retired) If one ever wishes to follow the
public company route, it will first be
necessary to have a change in philosophy before
changing the structure, not visa versa
Background slides
NZ industry removed competition
  • Over 100 years, the industry drove out
    competition in processing and exporting. It also
    drove out diversity of ideas, which any industry
    needs to realise its full potential. This
    strategy was based on two misplaced myths
  • That outsiders will reduce suppliers
    wealth, and
  • That a single exporter will deliver higher
    prices for commodities

Fear of outsiders
  • Unity among farmers emerged from their shared
    distrust of outsiders (David Yerex)
  • Dairy farmers developed a suspicion of city and
    urban interests...were seeking more than a fair
    share of his hard-won livelihood (Arthur Ward)
  • These outside interests included virtually
    everyone beyond the farm gate processors,
    quality controllers, wholesalers, distributors,
    merchants, advertising agents, bureaucrats,
    retailers, financiers and tax gatherers (David

Faith in cooperative
  • Dairy farmers came to believe - and it was an
    article of faith - that they secured more of the
    selling price of their produce by the cooperative
    method (Arthur Ward)
  • After a slow start, the concept of the
    cooperative dairy company spread like a faith
    an extension of the small-holders desire for as
    tight a mastery as possible over his destiny
    (Gordon McLaughlan)
  • The culture and values of these pioneering days
    remain a strong influence in the modern era
    (Ward, McLaughlan and Yerex)

Critical mass
Promar Internationals 2001 view on the minimum
scale for global food companies, with significant
dairy in their core activities
Minimum Size Fonterra
Total Assets 67 billion 11 billion
Employees 180,000 20,000
Revenue 111 billion 13 billion
Source Promar International
Returns relative to scale
No market power
  • In basic commodities, Fonterra is price taker
  • Except for a few narrow quota markets, Fonterra
    has no significant ability to raise world
    commodity prices
  • Fonterra argues that its international supply
    chain management and handling of third party milk
    products helps smooth some potential short-term
    price fluctuations
  • However it is clear that Fonterra cannot
    fundamentally change commodity prices

World dairy rankings (2006)
2003 2006 Company Country 2006 dairy sales (Euros)
1 1 Nestle Private Swiss 14.3
2 2 Dean Foods Private USA 7.2
9 3 Lactalis Private France 7.2
5 4 Danone Private France 7.2
3 5 Dairy Farmers of America Co-op USA 7.2
6 6 Fonterra Co-op NZ 6.6
4 7 Arla Foods Co-op Denmark/Sweden 6.2
8 8 Kraft Foods Private USA 5.2
10 9 Unliver Private NL/UK 5.0
11 10 Friesland Coberco Co-op NL 4.2
12 11 Meiji Dairies Private Japan 3.6
13 12 Campina Co-op NL 3.6
Private firms have overtaken co-ops to get places
3 and 4. Fonterra is standing still.
Source Danish Dairy Board
Examples of co-ops with shares listed
  • Donegal (IR) conversion and stock listing in
  • Calavo (USA), conversion in 2001, stock listing
  • National Co-operative Dairies / Clover (SA)
    conversion in 2003, stock listing in 2004
  • Gold Kist (USA), conversion and stock listing in
  • Diamond Walnut Growers (USA), conversion and
    stock listing in 2005
  • IAWS (IR) converted in 2005, plans to become
    stock listed in 2006

Examples of co-ops with two share classes
  • Cooperatives with a separate classes of equity
    shares in addition to the traditional ownership
    rights held by the member of the cooperative
  • Pro-Fac (USA), in 1994 only preferred stock
  • Saskatchewan Wheat Pool (CA), in 1996, nonvoting
    common stock
  • CHS (USA), in 2001 only preferred stock

Examples of co-ops with separate listed
  • Kerry (IR), in 1986
  • Metsäliito / M-real (FI), in 1987
  • IAWS (IR), in 1988
  • Avonmore (IR), in 1989 (now Glanbia)
  • Waterford (IR), in 1989 (now Glanbia)
  • Golden Vale (IR), in 1989 (in 2001 acquired by
  • Atria (FI), in 1991
  • LSO Cooperative / HK Ruokatalo (FI), in 1997
  • Emmi (CH), in 2004

  • The comments on control in these slides are drawn
    from Bengt Holmstrom, Prof of Economics at
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in a 1999
    paper on the future of cooperatives
  • Example of co-ops with different capital
    structures taken from Bijman van Bekkum,
    Co-operatives going public motives, ownership,
    and performance, International Conference on
    Economics and Management of Networks Budapest,
    15 17 September, 2005
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